SCOTTISH shoppers are willing to spend more on ethical items, back independent restaurants and pay a premium for faster deliveries, according to a report published today.

Property consultancy Colliers International’s Midsummer Retail Report said that Scots “have confounded their stereotype as canny and cautious buyers”.

YouGov research commissioned for the report revealed that 64% of Scots would happily pay more for items with a proven ethical or environmental benefit, compared to 54% across the UK. Some 53% would like to see independent restaurants in their streets and malls, compared to 45% UK-wide.

Colliers said its report concentrated on shopping habits to understand the opportunities and challenges facing retailers. To meet the needs of shoppers, it said malls are adapting their mix of outlets.

Ross Wilkie, retail director for Colliers in Scotland, said: “Edinburgh’s St James’ Centre is one of the biggest redevelopment projects in Britain for years, and of the 1.7 square feet of space being created, only half is destined for retail. It will also include a hotel, restaurants and even residential property.”

He added that the St James’ Centre should provide a considerable boost to retail in Scotland because it is attracting chains with no presence north of the Border.

But he warned that the centre of gravity of Edinburgh is likely to shift east of Princes Street when the centre re-opens and, to an extent, the west end of the city may have to re-invent itself.

The report also said that - despite the number of High Street retailers struggling to survive – shoppers, especially younger generations, still prefer bricks and mortar. Many shoppers said they would like to see their favourite online shops open physical outlets locally.